not my own plans
There's something you should know about BC folks. No one in BC ever says, "I'd really like to live in Toronto one day." Yup, pretty much never. (And really, Ontario might as well be interchangeable with Toronto here). Torontonians shouldn't take this personally. It's fairly similar to how high school students in Ontario almost never think about leaving the province for university, McGill being the exception. Toronto is just not a thought that crosses most people's minds in BC.
For me, Toronto was merely a stopover between connecting flights to other destinations. Toronto itself was like a distant myth -- a land locked with traffic as far as the eye can see, a city under the shadows of towering skyscrapers. Whenever friends from Ontario were visiting BC, their jaws would drop during the most mundane of car rides and they would gape and say things like, "LOOK at those trees!" And then they would snap pictures like mad. I would smile at their strange enthusiasm and shrug.
But now, I've become one of those estranged from the familiarity of ocean and mountains and enamoured by the views every time I'm on the west coast. As one friend pointed out while I was taking pictures of mountains that were once an everyday backdrop, "You're like a real Ontario person now. Fresh off the plane." Yup, that's me.
Case in point:
Inevitably, whenever I return to BC, people ask me, "So when are you coming back?" I usually reply with, "Christmas." But I know what they mean and my lame effort to dodge a real answer goes unheeded, "No, I mean, when are you coming back for good?" The thing is, I don't have a plan to move back to BC. I'm a poor planner to begin with -- I pretty much never think of my life in terms of 5 or 10 year plans. (Although, maybe I should?) To be honest, following Jesus is what led me away from the Pacific and to the T Dot. I could not in a million years have guessed that I would ever end up here. And yet, here I am.
The future -- and even where we might live in a few years! -- is unknown to us. I take a lot of comfort in knowing that God is sovereign.
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps (Proverbs 16:9).
A man's steps are from the LORD; how then can man understand his way? (Proverbs 20:24).
The fact that God is utterly in control of all things might sound scary, if I wasn't absolutely certain of God's love. This past summer, I heard someone say, "Sometimes, we treat God's love with such common regard. But the cross is God's billboard to us, 'I love you.' There are no questions about God's love when we look at the cross."
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:9-10).
This might sound naively optimistic, overly simplistic, or even foolish to some, but, ultimately, I really do believe (and not without good reason) that God is trustworthy and that, if I trust him with my whole life, find my delight in him, and follow wherever he leads me, he will not fail (in fact, he cannot) to do what is right and good and best for me -- even if it's not what I would have chosen for myself.
I think Toronto is pretty good evidence of that. ;)